Persephone tells her own story, the way it really happened. Addy escapes to the Middle Ages.
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Books for Teens

Emily Whitman Radiant Darkness Young Adult YA Fantasy Novel Myth Retelling Persephone Indiebound
Emily Whitman Wildwing Young Adult YA Novel Time Travel Middle Ages Romance Book Award

Radiant Darkness is currently out of print. You can buy used copies online.

Radiant Darkness

  • Number One on the IndieBound Kid's Next List

  • Oregon Book Award Finalist

  • "Originality and flair" - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

He smiles. “Hello.”

        It’s a deep voice. I feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.

        I know I should leave, but I don’t want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I’m all eye, all ear, all skin.


Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother’s a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there’s no chance of escaping the life that’s been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she’s come to love, even the earth itself. In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is. 

Praise for Radiant Darkness

“Whitman shapes the Greek myth of Persephone into a steamy coming-of-age novel laced with feminist sensibilities."            —  ALA Booklist


"A delicious read: funny, sensuous, lyrical, and wise." — Author Susan Fletcher


“Whitman has cleverly fit an ancient story into a trendy modern formula—a beautiful, innocent, privileged girl (Persephone) meets a powerful wealthy bad boy (Hades). — School Library Journal


“Will satisfy fans of Libba Bray and Stephenie Meyer.” — Kirkus Reviews


“A terrific story of a girl on the edge of womanhood, caught between a mother who offers no reverence and a boy who offers worship.” — Eloisa James, New York Times bestselling author



  • Winner, Oregon Book Award for Young Adult Literature

  • A Bankstreet College Best Children’s Book of the Year

  • "Will hook readers from the first page” – Kirkus Reviews

When Addy is swept back in time, she couldn’t be happier to leave her miserable life behind. Now she’s mistaken for Lady Matilda, the pampered ward of the king. If Addy can play her part, she’ll have glorious gowns, jewels, and something she’s always longed for—the respect and admiration of others. But then she meets Will, the falconer’s son with sky blue eyes, who unsettles all her plans. From shipwrecks to castle dungeons, from betrothals to hidden conspiracies, Addy finds herself in a world where she’s not the only one with a dangerous secret. When she discovers the truth, Addy must take matters into her own hands. The stakes? Her chance at true love . . . and the life she’s meant to live.


 “Addy is an engagingly inventive heroine. Whitman’s attention to historical detail and vivid descriptions bring the past alive to create an absorbing fictional world that will hook readers from the first page.”

—  Kirkus Reviews


“Akin in tone to Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty, this historical novel with a time-travel twist of sci-fi will find an avid readership.” —  School Library Journal


“The fantasy premise of escaping into a new identity (‘If I could, I’d shed the girl I am like a snake slides out of a ragged, outgrown skin,’ Addy thinks) should strongly appeal to teens.” —  Publisher’s Weekly


“Life seems to jump off the pages. The falcons, the history, the characters, the story, I loved every second of diving into history with Addy.” —



Wildwing is currently out of print. You can buy used copies online.

Praise for Wildwing


© 2015 by Emily Whitman.